Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Catholic 718 : Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year C - Sunday, 24 February 2019

Homily Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year C - Sunday, 24 February 2019
1 Samuel 26:2, 7-9, 12-13, 22-23
Ps 102:1-4, 8, 10, 12-13.  R. The Lord is kind and merciful.
1 Corinthians 15:45-49
Gospel Acclamation. John 13:34
Luke 6:27-38

Middle East arabian panoramic scenic view with space for text on blue sky. Beautiful gorge Ein Gedi, in arid Judean desert near Masada and Qumran Caves. Place where biblical David hid from King Saul .  Photo By ArtMaristock photo ID: 511473772. Shutterstock. Used under license.

Please listen to my audio recordings of the readings, prayers and reflections for the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year C - Sunday, 24 February 2019 by clicking this link here:   https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/faith-hope-and-love-7c-episode-142  (EPISODE: 142)

In Memory of my Father, William John (Bill) Kelly (1942-2017), whose second anniversary of death is this week, 27th February 2019.
May his soul, and all the souls of all the faithful departed, through the Mercy of God, Rest in Peace.

"Saint Joseph and the Child Jesus." (1964). San Lorenzo church, Florence, Italy. Painting by Pietro 
Annigoni. Credit: M.Flynn / Alamy Stock Photo. Used under license. Image ID: AR6P8P
What does it mean for us to, (as St Paul says so wonderfully in the second reading), "bear the image of the one of Heaven?" Or, as another translation says: “be modelled on the Heavenly man, (Jesus).”

Surely it means, we open ourselves up to the Lord’s grace, teaching and values and allow ourselves to be reshaped into an icon of Christ’s grace, mercy, and compassion.   It means a deeper union with Christ – to the point of exercising our thinking, abilities, and powers in union with how Christ acts.

The first reading is quite challenging…   David has been persecuted quite unjustly by King Saul, who is suffering from terrible delusions and jealousy and paranoia about David.  David has been nothing but loyal to him but Saul will not be satisfied.  War breaks out but David and his army are given the chance to kill Saul and David refuses to do so.  This is not the first time this will happen. 

It’s a striking lesson…   Just because we have been given the power to lift up and to cast down. Just because we have within us the ability to kill or to heal, does not mean that we should use our freedom to destroy, to avenge or to harm.  David unites himself to God’s patient, loving forbearance -  he does not lower himself to repay the wrongdoing of others with the same behaviour. He does not return bad for bad. Rather, he uses God’s perfect antidote; – returning love and kindness for wrongdoing. Canceling it out, rather than multiplying it. This is a radical and otherworldly solution, but clearly it is Divine wisdom. 
As David says so beautifully ….  “Today the Lord put you in my power, but I would not raise my hand against the Lord's anointed.'”  In this instance, David used his ability to be modeled upon the values and actions of God’s ways and not human ways… and the results are refreshing, surprising and wonderful.   Once where it seemed only one solution to the problem of King Saul and David.  One strikes the other down. Now there is a beautiful second option… reconciliation and rebuilding.   We are invited to give from God's gracious and compassionate love within, rather than to mirror or give back what one receives from the selfish, narrow actions of others.

Our Lord confirms this Heavenly mindset in the gospel….  He teaches us a very challenging message that goes against base instinct…  Do good to those who harm you and pray for them…   go further than the minimum……

The word “love” used by Our Lord in this teaching is not the same as for family or friends or a spouse…  but it’s a love that wishes the best and only the good for another, irrespective of their actions.  Wanting for everyone that dignity and respect and good that anyone deserves as a child of God, whether they themselves have acted in ways befitting of their status as children of God.

Do this, and ‘you will be children of the Most-High, for God himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.’

BE generous, not stingy or selfish; loving and compassionate, not gossiping, or judging; Merciful, not vengeful and precious. .... The standard by which we will be judged is going to be the standard with which we treat others!

Are we tempted to be offended when someone slights us?   Are we outraged when someone wrongs us?    But then we look at Our Lord…  who is deserving of all honour, obedience, and service… 
At times, each of us has offended the Lord, slighted him…  not given God his due, deliberately or carelessly chosen to do what is wrong…   God would have been within his rights to become furious, to lash out, the punish, to cast us away….  But God does not…   (thank goodness!).   {So many times I thank God that we humans do are not God because the results would be disastrous and capricious}. Rather, Our Lord is full of love, mercy, and forbearance…    Thanks be to God that the Lord does not choose to exercise his rights against us when we have wronged him time and time again.   And if we are truly to model ourselves on the Heavenly Man, and bear the image of the one of Heaven, then we too must have the same attitudes and responses when we are offended, slighted or wronged.    How different would the world and our local communities be if this was the full reality? 

Otherwise, as Jesus points out if our goodness and kindness go no further than our family and friends and those we are already in goodwill with, what difference is that from the pagans and the sinners… they are kind to their kin and friends…    Christ invites us to be fully immersed in his ways, not just dipping our toes into the waters of baptism we have received.  

The golden rule is in many ways a universal rule…  also found in other religious traditions.  (Jewish, Greek, even Confucian) …  but in each of these traditions. it is framed negatively and in a limiting way…  namely…   “don’t do things to people you wouldn’t like people to do to you.” But in Christ, this teaching goes much further! …  It is expressed in a wonderfully positive light!  .. and not merely a negative one…    That is, it is not merely refraining from doing what you would not want to be done to you, but also do the good things for others that you would want people to do for you!   Christ’s saying itself, “goes the extra mile…”  
Fr Paul W. Kelly

Barclay, W. (1975). The Gospel of Luke. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: St. Andrew Press

Archive of homilies and reflections:  http://homilycatholic.blogspot.com.au
To contact Fr. Paul, please email:  paulwkelly68@gmail.com
To listen to my weekly homily audio podcast, please click this link here.
NB - It is often a week or so Ahead:  https://soundcloud.com/user-633212303/tracks
You are welcome to subscribe to Fr Paul’s homily mail-out by sending an email to this address: paulkellyreflections+subscribe@googlegroups.com
Further information relating to the audio productions linked to this Blog:
“Faith, Hope and Love,  A time of Christian worship and reflection”  - Led by Rev Paul W. Kelly
Texts used in this programme are for the purposes of worship and prayer for listeners wherever you are.
Prayers and chants are taken from the English Translation of the Roman Missal, edition three, © 2010, The International commission on English in the liturgy.
Scriptures are from the New Revised Standard Version: © 1989,  by the national council of Churches of Christ, USA. , //adaptations to conform with Catholic liturgical norms, © 2009, by the same.
 [{selected psalms } - ***Psalm verses are (also) taken from “The Psalms: A New Translation” ©1963, The Grail (England), published by Collins.. **]
Prayers of the Faithful are adapted from Robert Borg’s 1993 book “ Together we pray”. Published in Sydney Australia By  E.J. Dwyer. (out of print).
{ “Mass In Honour of St. Ralph Sherwin” -published 2011,  Composed and Sung by Jeffrey M. Ostrowski   
Featuring the….Gloria, The Creed, The Kyrie, The Mass parts, Psalms:   http://www.ccwatershed.org/chabanel/  ]]] ] COPYRIGHT @ 2018 CORPUS CHRISTI WATERSHED. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  www.ccwatershed.org/vatican/Ralph_Sherwin_Videos/  
“Faith, Hope and Love” theme Hymn:   Words, based on 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, set to original music © 1996 by Paul W. Kelly.
For more details please visit http://homilycatholic.blogspot.com.au/
Contact us at paulwkelly68@gmail.com
Production by Kelly Enterprises Resources. 
May God bless and keep you.
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. Year C
(Sunday, 24 February 2019)
(EPISODE: 142 )
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (or/ The Lord be with You)
Brothers and sisters, as we prepare ourselves to celebrate the Lord's supper, let us recall our sins and acknowledge them in silence. 
You raise the dead to life in the Spirit. Lord, have mercy//You bring pardon and peace to the sinner. Christ, have mercy// You bring light to those in darkness. Lord, have mercy//
May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life.  Amen.
Memorial Acclamation
We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.
Sundays Ordinary VIII
Euch prayer III
Communion side.  pwk:  LH
Go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your life.

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